Healthy Travel Priorities

I wrote this after a week long trip to Guatemala at the end of May 2019. My partner and I had some beach time, took in the beautiful sights, drank local coffee and ate local chocolate. 

This year I have already been on two long haul trips to - one to Argentina and another to Australia. As well as multiple trips to the US and this one to Central America. Plus I have more fun things planned for later this year. 

So I'm going to go ahead and anoint myself as a travel expert - please hold while I update my LinkedIn 😂

May 2019 in Antigua, Guatemala.

May 2019 in Antigua, Guatemala.

My top tips for healthy travel.

I break down travel into the flight/drive to the destination and then the being there so that's how I'll split these hot tamales.

During the Flight/Drive:

Snacks: I like to pack snacks when possible. Airport food is expensive and questionable. Food on the road is even more questionable and usually extremely sparse. Protein bars and nut butter packets seem like the obvious choices but when possible I also bring things like eggs scrambled with veg, Tupperware salads, chopped crunchy veg - yes even for flights. Unless the food is liquid like soup you can bring it with you.

Water: Bring a reusable bottle and fill it at the airport. I usually aim to drink more than usual on flights because the air is so drying, bringing electrolyte tablets like Nuun helps the water do its job and taste a little more exciting. The more I drink on a long flight, the better I usually feel afterwards.

Coffee: I usually avoid it when flying, it doesn't help me adjust to new time zones and also increases the general stress of travel. But on a road trip, I usually grab a bean water, even if it's decaf, it helps me focus on driving.

Earplugs/eye mask: I discovered 4 years ago on a 13-hour flight what a big difference these make to the quality of my sleep while I'm scrunched up in an economy seat. They also come in handy if the place where you're staying at the destination is noisy or the curtains don't do a great job of blocking light.

Toothbrush: On a plane, before I go to sleep with my eye mask and earplugs I always brush my teeth. Sticking even partially to my normal bedtime routine tells me that I'm ready to sleep now. I just bring my regular toothbrush and toothpaste, nothing fancy required.

Alcohol: I never drink while flying, even when I get a rare upgrade and champagne is on offer. Alcohol reduces the quality of my sleep and is dehydrating. I save having a drink to when I arrive at the destination and can really enjoy it.


At the destination:

Protein: When I'm eating out on holiday or at a buffet I always make sure the meal has protein. It keeps me full, keeps my metabolism revved and helps me feel my most athletic best when away. Starches and fats tend to look after themselves on holiday, there's always bread with butter or fries to stare me down.

Vegetables: My second focus at meals is vegetables but honestly this is sometimes harder than it seems, many restaurant meals have a token veggie added but I don't stress and just do the best I can. Vegetables make sure I stay regular💩 while travelling too which is a bonus.

Jet Lag: for a big time zone change the first couple of days make it a priority to get outside into the sun, the light in our eyes and skin helps reset your body clock. Exercise and lots of water also helps to adjust to the new time faster. Oh, and if you're one lucky duck, going in the ocean for a dip works wonders for jet lag!

So these are my pretty simple recommendations. You won't see me in a fancy face mask in my airplane seat... yet (never say never, right?). The fun part of travelling is stepping out of my comfort zone and not knowing what to expect. With that in mind, don't sweat the small stuff. Getting caught up in details or sticking to your usual routine or everything being perfect is a great way to set yourself up for disappointment. Just enjoy making life long memories😁